Analysis

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

Soon, steel-hulled ships will clash in battle. Missiles belching fire will rise quickly from launch tubes, rapidly gathering speed and maneuverability before slamming into enemy vessels at supersonic speeds. Sailors will die, ships will sink and nations will either rise or fall. Although the time of the battle remains hidden, the site of the battles are known all too well.

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Are we adrift in the South China Sea

By MACK WILLIAMS* While Washington is paralysed by alleged White House scandal the US has taken its eye off the South China Sea. Continuing developments in the region have reinforced China’s position. Australia cannot afford to delay its own examination of our long term national interests in our neighbourhood.

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Can the US give offshore balancing a chance

The United States can gradually shift toward acting as an offshore balancer in Europe, Northeast Asia, and the Persian Gulf until the international setting changes requiring Washington to react more aggressively, Aaron Richards argues.

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Why did China’s warships visit the Philippines?

By Prashanth Parameswaran This week (May 2017), a flotilla of three Chinese naval ships paid a goodwill visit to the Philippines – the first such visit in seven years. Though such interactions are usually routine affairs, the significance of this one was beyond doubt.

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Cruisers promoting Russian presence and deterrence (pt2)

Cruisers promoting Russian presence and deterrence (pt2)

The following is the second of a two-part series on the role cruisers played in the Soviet and Russian Navy. The first part, published last week, examined historical inspiration for developing a cruiser-focused force, concepts of employment, and strategic rationale. Part II will focus on how cruisers shaped the environment through forward presence during the Cold War, and how the nature of presence may evolve into the future.

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Waters of black gold: the Strait of Hormuz

Waters of black gold: the Strait of Hormuz

The Arabian Gulf accounted for 32 percent of the world market share in oil production in 2015. The Middle East accounted for 17 percent of the market share in world natural gas production in 2015. Thus, those interested in ensuring the stability of seaborne energy transportation coming out of the Middle East have turned a wary eye to two of the most important maritime chokepoints in the region. The first is the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The second is the Bab el-Mandeb, a chokepoint 18 miles wide at its narrowest, and which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

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The role of cruisers in Russian presence and deterrence

The role of cruisers in Russian presence and deterrence

The first of a two-part series on the role cruisers played in the Soviet and Russian Navy. This examines the historical inspiration for developing a cruiser-focused force, concepts of employment, and strategic rationale. Part II (to be published on this site in a week) will focus on how cruisers shaped the environment through forward presence during the Cold War, and how the nature of presence may evolve into the future.

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South China Sea: the energy dimensions

South China Sea: the energy dimensions

The regional oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea have become economically and geopolitically less important due to oversupply in the global oil and gas markets, new diversification options and low oil and gas prices. Beijing’s deepwater projects in the South China Sea are not exclusively or primarily driven by commercial factors, Frank Umbach writes.

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